A modern, holistic approach to leadership, framed around a commitment to authenticity, the ability to listen and an awareness of the feelings of employees and constituencies.
Myers, the executive director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership and COO of the Obama presidential campaign, offers a cogent, articulate addition to modern leadership theory, citing her experiences with both President Clinton and Obama. Her easy-to-digest volume is filled with anecdotes that illustrate the importance of a feelings-based approach to achieving major policy goals. In today’s world, dominated by the Internet and the drive for individual fulfillment, Myers argues that “the emerging need is not simply for better leadership but for a new kind of leadership, one based on listening, transparency, and a fundamental honoring of relationships.” But the author’s stories are not limited to those in the Oval Office; sprinkled throughout the book are vignettes of ordinary people who lead by example and through compassion. Myers’ message is that leadership qualities apply to all areas of life: business, politics, school and family. She suggests that paying attention to seven core ideas—authenticity, connection, respect, clarity, a willingness to collaborate, an openness to continuous learning and the courage to do the right thing—is not merely a formula for kinder, gentler leadership, but also a conduit to greater success in achieving financial and policy-oriented goals.
An enjoyable and insightful read for anyone interested in increasing their personal and professional effectiveness.